Yesterday I attended the Eduserv Symposium I mentioned previously. Luckily I attended with fellow NMC friends Corwin:
and later CDB:
as one of the advantages of being in Second Life was that we could engage in back channel conversations while the speakers were presenting.
My two favourite sessions were from Professor Gilly Salmon, who spoke about Leicester University’s SEAL project, emphasising the focus on “what’s new?” “what can we learn in SL that we cannot learn offline?”; and Stephen Downes, who was incredibly provocative and raised a lot of questions to pierce through the hype of SL education.
Stephen’s session made me laugh and I think it is very helpful to be critical and to ask questions about the model of pedagogy being used (or replicated exactly) in this new-ish environment. I especially liked the final panel session when people like Gilly interacted with Stephen and this is where the most interesting discussion happened. Unfortunatley this was a bit brief and right at the very end though!
I think there is a long way to go to have a mixed reality event like this – the SL audience were pretty much ignored til the very end. But aside from a few technical issues to begin with, the streaming went very well and it worked. I have seen other models where the speakers come from different audiences (one SL and one in the real venue) and the interaction was much more fluid. But really, I am thankful I can get to attend from the other side of the world at no cost, listening whilst sitting in my lounge room sipping hot chocolate.